Optimizing Advisor Workflows with Technology
In our first Secrets to Scale podcast, LibertyFi COO Alli Jordan sat down with LibertyFi CEO Trey Ruch. Trey talked about how a middle-office consultancy can help advisors scale their RIAs to achieve their growth targets.
Trey shared that helping advisory firms scale was a core value proposition when we started LibertyFi nearly four years ago. This is our thesis—that we could help advisors because we’ve built and run successful platforms on Envestnet for previous firms and for our clients.
Since we launched, we’ve helped over 20 firms figure out how to improve their use of technology to drive growth. Our clients agree that we can shorten their learning curves to increase productivity more quickly. Our expertise is based on years of experience and trial and error, seeing what works, and learning from what doesn’t. We’re able to apply that experience to help accelerate clients along the learning curve to get things done and done well.
Applying Technology to Meet a Firm’s Specific Needs
Trey outlined a process we have developed that helps clients think about technology’s role in the firm:
- We start by trying to understand the firm’s aspirations for the technology.
- Then we help them figure out whether the Envestnet suite of wealth management tools can help them accomplish their mission.
- Next, we examine the roles and skills of the employees to understand how well equipped they are to support the firm’s workflows.
- Once we’ve defined and agreed these areas with the client, we implement and configure the platform to the firm’s specific needs.
He contrasted this approach with the one-size-fits-all solutions that many technology providers sell. As Trey says, you don’t want to learn how to play tennis from the guy who sells you the racket. You want to learn from someone who has been successful playing the game.
Helping Breakaway and Established RIAs
Trey described how many advisors, particularly breakaways, want technologies similar to those they were using in their previous firms. Of course, they don’t have experience running or configuring technology because those tools were managed and run by someone else.
For new breakaways, we develop a business plan that is sensitive to where the firm is starting as they undertake these new responsibilities directly. For established RIAs, we assess where they are and stage how they will proceed. We spend a lot of time working on this. We recognize that it isn’t our plan, it’s the firm’s plan. And they have to buy into it for the plan to succeed.
Once firms have mastered the basics of running their practice with technology, our objective is to help them address more sophisticated problems and challenges so they can continue to grow and scale their businesses. It’s important that firms continue to refine and develop their application of the technology to better serve clients.
#1 Tip For Achieving Scale
For Trey, the single most important secret to scaling a firm is the need to change advisor mindsets about how and where they can deliver value. Traditional semi-annual meetings are no longer sufficient. Using the Envestnet wealth management platform, advisors can work directly with clients at the point of service, promoting collaboration and driving client engagement with tools like the Client Portal. By acquiring just a few basic skills, advisors can deliver the kinds of digital experiences that today’s clients expect.
Watch our Secrets to Scale podcast to learn more.